An Introduction to the Hubble Space Telescope
The Space Telescope Science Institute
This is the home to mission planning,
telescope scheduling, and public outreach
activities for the Hubble Space Telescope.
Hubble takes amazing images...
That get people interested…
in the Universe beyond our Earth
Who works at STScI?
• Graphic artists
• Video technicians
I help test the planning tools and teach astronomers to use them:
Fun Facts About The Hubble Space Telescope
Where is Hubble? In orbit around the Earth about 380 miles up.
How did Hubble get there? The Space Shuttle carried it into orbit in
How big is Hubble? It is 43.5 feet long which is nearly the size of a
large school bus.
How fast is Hubble moving? Hubble goes around the earth once
every hour and a half (which turns out to be about 5 miles per
Where does Hubble get electricity? From the sun. But it doesn’t
need much: in an average orbit, Hubble uses about the same
amount of energy as 24 100-watt light bulbs.
How many observations does Hubble take? Hubble takes 1000’s of
images a year, but for every astronomer that gets to use Hubble
there are 4 more who are turned down. Time on Hubble is precious.
Which brings us to our topic of the day:
How do we take as many images as possible with Hubble? Careful
planning and scheduling using the skills of our schedulers and very
powerful scheduling software.
What makes scheduling difficult and interesting?
There are about 2500 observations done on Hubble per year. That’s
about 7 per day.
There are lots of rules about when an observation can be done.
Some rules apply to all observations. Like Hubble cannot point within
50 degrees of the Sun.
Some rules are written by the astronomer. Like observation 2 must
be after observation 1 by a month.